Let’s say you’re improvising over a 12-bar blues in A. Your basic chords will be:
(I) A7 | (IV) D7 | (V) E7
Chances are you’ll play the minor pentatonic scale over the A7, which means you probably won’t play the 6. It’s good to hold it back because the 6th of A (F#) is also the major 3rd of the next chord, D7, which means when you go to that D7, you’ll be outlining the chord change in a very effective way, rather than just blowing past it with the minor pentatonic scale. Remember to get creative with your approach to that 6 – slide into it, bend up or down to it etc.
2. The Jazzy 6
Another way to use the 6 in a blues is simply to add it to the intervals we’ve already amassed in the previous lessons. Here are the three diagrams you’ll need:
3. Swap Out the b7
Another thing you can do with the 6 to make it stand out even more is to the replace the b7 with it. You’ll hear this a lot in Robben Ford’s playing as it gives a jazzy edge to your lines. Practice with the following three groups of intervals based around the minor triad: